Indian investor loses Ksh.200 million in gold scam, fake KRA official arrested


A side by side image of the river bed pebbles seized at JKIA in fake ...
A side by side image of the river bed pebbles seized at JKIA in fake gold deal and the fake KRA offial Hezbon Nyabola. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to the DCI, the Indian investor, Malian Sanjay, was duped by a man from Guinea Bissau identified as Cavalho Lopes, that he would sell him 44.45 Kgs of gold valued at $1,780,000 (Ksh.195.8 million).
  • The investor paid the whopping amount for the supposed gold, which was to be shipped from Guinea Bissau through Kigali, Rwanda before being loaded on a plane to India via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
  • However, what was supposed to be gold worth close to Ksh.200 million was discovered to be river bed pebbles that were neatly arranged in a box.

A man purporting to be a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) official has been arrested in connection with a gold scam that saw an investor based in Mumbai, India lose close to Ksh.200 million.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has identified the suspect as Hezbon Nyabola.

According to the DCI, the Indian investor, Malian Sanjay, was duped by a man from Guinea Bissau identified as Cavalho Lopes, that he would sell him 44.45 Kgs of gold valued at $1,780,000 (Ksh.195.8 million).

The investor paid the whopping amount for the supposed gold which was to be shipped from Guinea Bissau through Kigali, Rwanda before being loaded on a plane to India via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.

A few days after receiving information that the shipment was on transit to Nairobi, the Indian national received a call from the fake KRA official who informed him that the consigment had been detained at JKIA for non-payment of customs duty.

“The caller identified as Hezbon Nyabola, informed him that his consignment, Airway Bill No706-27720626 had been detained at JKIA for non payment of customs duty. As a result, Sanjay sent him, a further $26,700 (Ksh.2.9 million) to clear the consignment and facilitate its shipment,” says the DCI.

“All along, the investor had not realized that he had been scammed until the gold failed to arrive in India within the agreed upon time. He became suspicious and sought the assistance of our detectives, who immediately moved in and recovered the consignment at JKIA.”

However, upon inspection what was supposed to be gold worth close to Ksh.200 million was discovered to be river bed pebbles that were neatly arranged in a box.

Hezbon Nyabola has since been arrested pending arraignment for obtaining money by false pretenses.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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